Nigeria’s minister of labour and productivity,Chris Ngige, has appealed to striking resident doctors to resume work.

Speaking on Sunday during an interview on Channels Television, Ngige said the resident doctors should come for discussions after they return to work.

On August 2, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on strike over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.

Efforts of different stakeholders, including President Muhammadu Buhari and the house of representatives, to ensure the resident doctors shelve the strike did not yield the desired result.

On Friday, the National Industrial Court, in a ruling by Bashir Alkali, had asked the resident doctors to return to work.

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But the striking doctors faulted the court’s ruling, vowing to appeal the order.

Reacting to the development, Ngige described the decision of the resident doctors to continue the strike despite the court order as “contemptuous”.

The labour minister said he is determined to protect the profession from being “vandalised”.

“I want to appeal to NARD for them to reconsider their position, get back to work tomorrow or next and then come back again for discussions. We have so many things to discuss,” the minister said.

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“I have nephews who are resident doctors. I have three of them in the east — at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching hospital, UNTH Enugu, Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. I have so many of them.

“I have my son — a house officer. I have my daughter who is joining housemanship in October. I have a son, God willing, who is going to graduate again in October. I cannot destroy the profession but I have to protect the profession too if it is going to be vandalised.”

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